This article by Bettis is history of cheerleader and the root of sexual innuendos and connotations. Surprisingly cheer leading was an all male sport that was seen as masculine and respectful until World War II. Once it became an all female activity, the masculinity was exchanged for sexuality, the respect was lost, and cheer leaders were seen as a “basic male-voyeuristic fantasy”. Stereotypes/gender roles are immediately placed on each sex. Males as “horn toads” and female cheer leaders as “sexy, wholesome girls”.
What surprised me even more is the obvious sexuality and sensuality associated with cheer leading, and the lack of interest and silence of this fact through out parents, schools, and coaches. Cheer leaders are huge sexual icons and even in the top rated category of “adult movies”. Yet somehow, we continue to include them in wholesome American culture, and start our young girls out as early as elementary school. Cheer leaders represent schools, hmm wow, I’m glad we choose scantily clad young women to represent all of our schools across the nation.